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The Family Changes Every Five Years - Relationship, Sex
The Family Changes Every Five Years - Relationship, Sex

Video: The Family Changes Every Five Years - Relationship, Sex

Video: The Family Changes Every Five Years - Relationship, Sex
Video: 5 Signs You're Ready for Sex! 2023, March

What problems of the new time lie in wait for modern married couples? Where is the line between sexuality and vulgarity? What role do children play and should play in the sex life of couples? And vice versa: how do parents influence the puberty of their children? Do those "over 60" have sex? And why is Fifty Shades of Gray a hymn to love? By the brilliant French psychoanalyst Alan Eril.


Alan Eril is a psychologist, sex therapist, supervisor, author of many books on the psychology of couples, creator and director of the indigo Formations educational center in Paris.

Alan, at the end of October, thanks to the initiative of the psychologist Maria Tikhonova, you held an open meeting in Moscow on the territory of the "winery" and a closed master class for specialists on the topic of sexuality in couples. Was this an interesting experience? What audience is going to listen to you?

Although the audiences were different, they turned out to be similar in many ways - liveliness, curiosity, openness. I hope the same listeners will visit me in March when I come to Russia again. It was nice to see the sincere interest in the topic. I was asked a lot of really smart and subtle questions: not about banal numbers and facts, but about feelings and meanings, which in the field of sex and sexuality are sometimes much more important than statistics.

Why such a wary attitude towards statistics?

It's all about my practice. I have met so many times that publicly available statistical data spoil people's lives … Now there is a lot of information on the Web. And my couples regularly read there that the average French have sex so many times a week, check it with their "indicators" - and voila: "What's wrong with us?" Why not so? Are you comfortable in your rhythm? Comfortable. Good? Good. Well, that's great! Why adjust to soulless statistics? Any thinking person understands that in sex, quantity does not mean quality, while quality is obviously more important than quantity. Moreover, quality does not mean "technique" and "artistry", but the depth of penetration into emotion. After all, sexuality is always an attraction, inextricably linked with experience, and not only bodily expression.

But after all, society and popular culture impose on us both stereotypes and even a certain fashion for the manifestation of sexuality. take the same “50 shades of gray”, after which all housewives crave new - namely bodily - sensations …

Don't tell me. By the way, you gave a very amusing example. After all, this book is not at all a BDSM anthem, but a real hymn to love. With a sincere emotion, the heroine awakens a real feeling in the painful psyche of her chosen one, she gradually changes him. And this, of course, is not at all due to sexual overtones. Thus, one of the most scandalous books of recent years still teaches us about love.

In your words, echoes of a half-forgotten idealization of this feeling sound, but has the attitude towards sex for love really not changed in the modern world? hasn't sexual relationships become more … consumer-oriented, or what?

And the attitude changed, and sex definitely became more consumer-oriented, as modern adults - and especially women - began to better understand their needs (including those of a sexual nature), better understand the nature of sexuality and even its benefits, make certain demands on men, which the culture of past eras did not provide. Over the past 30 years, the role of women in families and couples has changed dramatically. They escaped the boundaries of the “family hearth”, became financially independent, active, even self-sufficient, and against this background, both psychological and sexual disclosure of their feminine principle takes place. Young wives acquire their own expectations of family and sexual life, ceasing to be just a support for their husbands, as it has been for a long time.

But the trouble is that this restructuring is not always easy on the psychological level. Many are consciously - socially - ready for a new role, but subconsciously - emotionally - they cannot fully accept it. In their hearts, they remain the same romantic personages as their mothers and grandmothers, and are still waiting for princes on horseback, although the society around them requires an equal partnership with a man.

From your words, we can conclude that the time of romance is irrevocably gone …

That bookish, century-old romance - yes. Family models, couples' relationship models have completely changed. I’m a psychoanalyst, I work with the unconscious. And on an unconscious level, all couples are trying to adapt to familiar patterns. How do they know these models? From dads and moms. We all secretly try to repeat what we had in front of our eyes for most of our lives. But it is obvious that the family models of our parents, in principle, cannot correspond to modern realities. Only parents who survived the boom of the sixties and seventies can understand the new norms of relations in the family and in sex. Politics, economics, attitudes towards sex, and family traditions are changing rapidly, but unconscious attitudes are much slower. And in these conditions, each couple has to invent their own model,to discover new meanings of partnership in a world where the culture of relations between men and women has changed. Actually, we are mainly working on this. Above the search for individual and actual meanings.

In addition to elusive patterns and aging meanings, what other common problems in couples can be diagnosed?

People go from one extreme to another. Some, in their desire to reduce sex to a consumer function, try to level out emotion, thereby often dooming themselves to problems. After all, sexuality and attraction are not at all primitive physiological reactions, they are deeper experiences. Others, on the other hand, become emotionally dependent in an attempt to maintain closeness. They are with each other 24 hours a day, completely losing their "I". And for most couples, I strongly advise you to learn to take a break from your loved ones, spend at least a short time alone with yourself in order to understand your real needs - and not torment your loved ones with requests for what you really don't need.

People lose the ability to be loved. Couples of absolutely wonderful parents often come to me. They brilliantly cope with the roles of moms and dads, but at the same time forget how to be lovers. Their communication boils down to discussing pressing problems, planning the future of growing up children, assessing their successes and failures, comparing them with their own vicissitudes at work. But from these relations the line of a man and a woman, interest in the personality of another person, play, love, attraction disappears. I always advise couples to spend more time only together - to go out on weekends, go to restaurants, arrange surprise dates. And the main condition is not to talk about children. Sincerely interested in these moments only in each other.

People don't know how to talk to each other about their relationships. Everyone is much more familiar with the topic of everyday worries. But even when couples dare to talk about feelings, it turns out that this is not an easy task. And the problems are most often associated with subjective interpretations. I sometimes give my couples a little exercise. A man must say something to his wife, and she then repeat his words as close to the text as possible. It turns out that it is quite difficult for a woman to accurately convey the thought of her husband, since at the moment of his address she was not so much listening as she was preparing her reply in advance. And in order to learn how to talk to each other, you need to start listening and hearing the other, and not yourself.

Since we have already mentioned couples with children, as well as the unconscious desire of children to copy their parental patterns, let's continue this topic. How should a husband and wife behave in the presence of teenage children? Can they openly show sexuality?

They can. And even should. It is only very important to be sensitive to the boundaries between sexuality and vulgarity. It is useful for children to see that parents are not just friends, that they are attracted to each other, that tenderness and trepidation can be seen in their touch. And children do not need to see too frank - on the verge of what is permissible - flirting and flirting with dubious banter. Teenagers have enough of this "culture" on the Web.

By the way, how does the availability of a wide variety of information about sex in our "era of knowledge" affect the sex life of people of different ages? Teenagers? Old people?

I don't know how in other countries, but if we talk, for example, about adolescents, then in France, purely statistically, the average age of sexual debut has not changed, despite the prevalence of pornographic information as well. I think this is due to the fact that such aggressive visualization not only does not attract teenagers, but even repels. They are not at all attracted by the idea of soulless copulation. Not to mention the development of complexes due to their own inconsistency with the imposed images of an "always ready" man and an "always willing" woman. All this does not contribute to the development of sexuality in adolescents. And I would say that this is a problem.

In the older generation, the reluctance to engage in sexual relations has other origins. If earlier the topic of sexuality of the elderly was hushed up simply because it was generally accepted that sex after menopause does not exist, today in Europe women after 50, after 60 years of age open new facets with interest. But older people do not allow themselves to open up sexually. They are embarrassed and uncomfortable, although they do not stop experiencing sexual attraction (after all, as we remember, it is associated more with emotion). They are not sure that modern culture accepts them, and therefore deprive themselves of the right to feel and live a full life. But in my center I work with such couples too.

Men and women should understand that the world is constantly changing, every second. Like people, like relationships. Consequently, any established union over time is modified in one way or another. The whole history of family life is a history of metamorphosis. And every five years your family is a different family. It is not surprising, therefore, that mutual misunderstandings and doubts may arise during the renovation process. The main thing is not to be afraid of it. If everyone is ready to work on themselves, the couple will succeed.

Sex to the grave

A study by the University of Manchester on the sexual needs of people over 80 based on a survey of 6,000 Britons showed that 54% of men and 31% of women in this age group have regular sex (a third of all respondents - at least twice a month).

Interviewed by Ekaterina Alipova Photo: www.

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